Raytheon Fears Biden Will Cancel $500 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia
By Staff, Agencies
US President Joe Biden’s administration will cancel a $500 million sale of bombs to a US ally — believed to be Saudi Arabia — the CEO of a major military contractor predicted on Tuesday.
As reported by Defense One, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes told investors that his company is already planning to lose its sale of an "offensive weapon system" to a "customer in the Middle East" that "we can't talk about."
In May 2020, it was reported that the Trump administration was planning to approve the sale of thousands of "precision-guided munitions" to the Saudis and to allow Raytheon to also manufacture a previous generation of the missiles in Saudi Arabia itself.
In December, the outgoing administration notified Congress that it intended to go ahead with the deal. At the time, Democratic members of Congress, including Rep. Ro Khanna, urged President Biden to "reverse course," The Washington Post reported.
The Saudi monarchy — which has waged a devastating war in Yemen, with US support dating back to the Obama administration — accounts for 5% of Raytheon's total sales.
Philippe Nassif, Amnesty International's advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa, welcomed the news.
"If the reports are accurate, this is a positive and necessary first step," Nassif told Insider. Raytheon's products, he said, "have been used to commit war crimes in Yemen."
"What is vital next is for the United State to encourage all countries supplying parties to the conflict to stop the transfer of any arms, equipment, and military assistance, which risk being used in Yemen," Nassif argued.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.